Why Offender’s Participate in Restorative Justice

Posted on: 15th, June 2023

Restorative Justice is a voluntary service; both victim and offender have to agree to take part for the process to go ahead. In this blog post, we’ll explore why an offender may choose to participate, the positive impact Restorative Justice has on offenders and how it can help reduce reoffending. 

The offender’s opportunity to apologise 

Many offenders choose to take part in Restorative Justice as they want to apologise for their actions. Harry was homeless and desperate for money when he burgled Lily and Michael’s home, and wanted to apologise for the harm he had caused. A face-to-face, direct conference was held, which Harry described as being uncomfortable to begin with, but effective. He made many apologies which were accepted by the victims, and felt positive that he’d had the opportunity to say sorry. 

The chance to repair harm 

In another burglary case, the offender had stolen items of sentimental value. After talking with Restorative Justice facilitators, he admitted to feeling guilty about this, and offered to help locate some of the stolen property that he had hidden. The victim was thankful to be reunited with the items. The offender’s probation officer shared that the offender still talks about the Restorative Justice process some time after, and found that it helped his self-esteem, giving him determination to change his behaviour. Restorative Justice gave the offender the opportunity to repair some of the harm he had caused. 

Finding a positive outcome for all parties  

Charlie was seriously injured due to dangerous driving by Sam, a first time offender. Sam was extremely remorseful for his actions but hadn’t had the opportunity to express this in court. He wanted to meet with Charlie to apologise and see if there was anything he could do towards some form of reparation. The parties met for a face-to-face conference, where they discussed the impact the incident had on their lives. Both were interested in finding a positive outcome from the situation, so swapped contact details with the intention of potentially holding talks together at schools about road awareness. 

Restorative Justice helps the offender put the crime behind them 

Steve attempted to break into Joanne’s home late one evening, and was involved in a chain of events in the neighbourhood including forced entry, arson and theft of a car. He was keen to have a direct, face-to-face Restorative Justice meeting with Joanne so that he could apologise for what had happened, and explain that he was on drugs at the time but has since come off them completely. He wanted the opportunity to put the incident behind him. The meeting was extremely positive, with Steve and Joanne saying they’d gained everything they had hoped for from the meeting. It helped them both move on from the crime. 

The offender can see the impact of their crimes 

Daniel committed a street robbery on Carl, and contacted the Restorative Justice team after the police informed him that Carl has autism. Daniel wanted to apologise for his actions and make things right. Via a letter to Daniel, Carl shared the impact the crime had on his mental health, explaining that he feels extremely anxious and has struggled to sleep since the robbery. Daniel responded with an explanation and apology, saying, “I’d like you to feel more positive, I’d like you to not be upset”. Restorative Justice provided the chance for Daniel to see the full impact of his crime, as well as the opportunity to apologise. 

Get in touch 

If you think Restorative Justice could be the right option for you, please get in touch.  

Let’s help change your life

Talk to our expert team in confidence today

Email Us

Or call us on 07535 692669 / 07535 692584

Case Studies

A Street Robbery

Daniel contacted the Restorative Justice team after he committed a street robbery on Carl. “The p...

Read More

Burglary Case

Victim initiated referral after receiving information about Restorative Justice from victim bureau staff when given court result. Victim was still ...

Read More

Burglary: John & Lucy

John burgled Lucy’s home when she was outside hanging out her washing. When she came inside, she found him standing in her property. She describe...

Read More

Injury By Dangerous Driving

The offender, Sam*, had committed the offence of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. This was a first time offence, and he was extremely r...

Read More

Neighbours' Dispute

A neighbours’ dispute had been occurring between John*, who owned a house adjoining a public right of way, and Frank*, who was the son of the own...

Read More

Non-Recent Child Sexual Abuse

The offences against Joshua were of a sexual nature and were committed in the 1980s, when Joshua was aged between 10 and 15 years old. To...

Read More
What People Say About Restorative Justice

The facilitators have been wonderful. I feel stronger than I did. I would really recommend Restorative Justice.

Burglary Victim

Thank you for the letter, it has made a real difference to how I feel about what happened

From victim of a criminal damage to vehicle where the offender wanted to write a letter which explained what he had been feeling at the time and how sorry he was now.

Thank you for the letter, it has made a difference to how I feel.

Georgia, Victim of Crime

Thank you for the update, I felt reassured that the offender has apologised and that her behaviour was subject to some reflection and accountability.

Linda, Victim of Crime

He's done what he has been asked to do (apologise for the harm caused) - I'm very happy with that.

Kieran, Victim of Crime

Our Partners